Times are changing and the world is becoming increasingly reliant on technology. While this comes with many benefits, it raises some serious issues, too. One major issue is that of potential cyberattacks. This is something that is now threatening all kinds of organizations. However, for medical service providers, their healthcare payment services are especially at risk.
Almost every month, we seem to hear about another high-profile cyberattack. In the last year, we’ve heard reports of hospitals being targeted with ransomware. We’ve also heard about consumers’ credit card details being stolen from major national retailers. This is very worrying news and is something that healthcare providers are having to take seriously.
Experts have predicted that experiencing data breaches of 10,000 records is more likely than catching the flu during the winter. For hospitals, medical practices, and providers of healthcare services, this creates major headaches. Not only must healthcare entities protect patients’ financial information, but they must protect their personal data as well. Medical files hold a wealth of details. Therefore, it’s no wonder that healthcare payment services are such a target for hackers.
Data Security Costs and Risks
There have been estimates that say the cost of data breaches per record is $148. However, data that contain PHI (Personal Health Information) come at a much higher cost. Federal HIPAA legislation requires all healthcare service providers take adequate measures to guard their patients’ data. Should they fail in their requirement, there is a large fine to pay. The government adds this fine to the standard cost of rectifying the damage done. Even worse for healthcare providers, they must report that a breach has occurred. This often damages the reputation of the organization considerably. When providers take these factors into account, the average cost of a security breach is $408 for a single patient. When you calculate these sums, it becomes clear that a healthcare payments solution that is cybersecure is the only option.
Some Worrying Statistics
Here are some disturbing statistics regarding data breaches:
- Seventy percent of healthcare organizations in 2017 said they felt their security risk had increased.
- Most organizations take more than six months to find out someone had hacked them.
- There are around 230,000 malware tools created on a daily basis worldwide.
When we weigh these risks, we see how important it is to protect customer data.
Mitigating the Risks
Finding healthcare payment services that can mitigate these risks couldn’t be more important. Compliance has become a major issue among healthcare organizations today. Therefore, it is essential to use a payment service provider that can meet the guidelines for cybersecurity. HIPAA, SSAE-16, and PCI-DSS compliance is an absolute requirement.
BillingTree offers industry-leading healthcare payment solutions that are fully compliant with all regulations. By protecting all cardholder data, as well as all personal data, BillingTree protects healthcare service providers from cyberattacks. All solutions have also been designed with an extensive understanding of the complexities of the revenue cycle. When a company pairs this with the focus on encryption and security, it strengthens HIPAA practices. Healthcare providers have a fully auditable activity trail at their fingertips. Not only that, but they can also benefit from document viewing, as well as highly secure e-mails regarding online payments.
While cyberattacks are a very real threat for any organization today, it is possible to mitigate the risk. By taking suitable steps to address patient data security, healthcare providers can avoid security breaches. They can also avoid the severe financial penalties that accompany a serious security breach. In this respect, BillingTree’s healthcare payment services can give providers of medical services peace of mind.